From sundials to timepieces that communicate with each other nightly, how we tell time has come a long way. The ancient has become decorations and the old is slowly leaking back into the new. Their evolution is a story as old as man. The focus for this article will be the “portable clock.”
The first wristwatch was made for Countess Koscowicz of Hungary by the Swiss watch manufacturer Patek Philippe in 1868, according to Guinness World Records. But the first wristwatch for men is not so easy to pinpoint. Prior to this the first portable clocks were clunky, inaccurate, unprotected, and subject to break easily.
Watches worn on the wrist first became popular in Europe during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Americans thought men wearing this traditionally female adornment were comical and often would use it in vaudeville and comedy acts. It wasn’t until World War I that the practicality of having a watch more easily accessible for men/soldiers made sense. The Atlantic article on watches further shares that it was during this time that European soldiers were outfitting the device with unbreakable glass to survive the trenches and radium to illuminate the display at night. And civilians, seeing the wristwatch’s practical benefits over the pocket watch, were parroting the behavior.
If the traditional style watch is something of interest check out this Unisex Low Vision 2″ Watch. This extra-large watch has a 1.6″ wide face within a 2″ case, providing extra-large visibility and clarity. Bold black hands are featured on a white face with bold black numbers so that you can read the time with ease.
If closing and opening straps are an issue than try the Talking Watch With Black Leather Slip-on Cuff. Not only is this watch easy to put on and take off but you can choose between a male and female voice to give you the date and time. The different voice options are great for anyone who has started to have some high frequency hearing loss.
Pocket watches were some of the first portable clocks. While they came before the wristwatch they also are continually being utilized to this day. This brief history is taken entirely from a Dapperfied article on the history of pocket watches. One of the first historical references of the pocket watch can be found in a letter dated in November 1462 from an Italian by the name of Bartholomew Manfredi. By 1524 the practice spread and Peter Henlein, a master locksmith, began manufacturing watches in Germany. Watch production spread to the rest of the world, gaining popularity rapidly.
Early pocket watches only had an hour hand as the minute hand did not appear on the clock face until the late 17th century. In the late 1830s, the first American pocket watches were produced using machine-made parts. Some of the first pocket watches also included practical gadgets in their design like winding keys, a vesta case [small match box] or even a cigar cutter. These added gadgets increased the usability of the watch and gave it an added appeal to consumers.
If you’re interested in purchasing a modern-day pocket watch check out this Gold Talking Atomic Pendant Watch With Gold Chain. This is an attractive talking time piece with 1.4″ wide case. It features a multi-band atomic receiver that can work in the US, Europe, or Japan once you adjust your time zone. This watch has a clear male voice which speaks the time and the date at the touch of a button. There is a daily alarm that can be activated if needed. It comes with a matching gold tone 30″ chain.
But what is an atomic watch?
Watch Ranker states that atomic watches are calibrated by an atomic clock and maintain their calibration by receiving radio signals from that clock. This means that with your atomic watch, you can know the exact time with the exacting precision of NASA, literally: NASA uses an atomic clock for its countdowns.
In the United States, the atomic clock is in Fort Collins, Colorado, one of the most accurate in the world. The clock is operated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Atomic watches in other countries communicate with clocks elsewhere in the world.
American atomic watches are programmed to search at least once a day for a 60 kHz radio signal from the Ft. Collins clock, which can broadcast at a range of 1,864 miles. It receives and decodes this signal to maintain its accuracy. The watch doesn’t stay in constant contact with the atomic clock, but it doesn’t need to as 24 hours isn’t long enough for the watch to noticeably drift.
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